- 1. Act of maintaining controlled environmental conditions for the purpose of favoring growth or development of microbial or tissue cultures or to maintain optimal conditions for a chemical or immunologic reaction. 2. Maintenance of an artificial environment for an infant, usually a premature or hypoxic one, by providing proper temperature, humidity, and, usually, oxygen. 3. The development, without sign or symptom, of an infection from the time the infectious agent gains entry until the appearance of the first signs or symptoms. [L. incubo, to lie on]
* * *in·cu·ba·tion .iŋ-kyə-'bā-shən, .in- n1) the act or process of incubating2) INCUBATION PERIODin·cu·ba·tion·al -shnəl, -shən-əl adj
* * *n.1. the process of development of an egg or a culture of bacteria.2. the care of a premature baby in an incubator.
* * *in·cu·ba·tion (in″ku-baґshən) [L. incubatio] 1. the development of the embryo in the eggs of oviparous animals. 2. the maintenance of an environment with controlled temperature, humidity, and oxygen for the development of an infant, especially of a premature one. 3. the development of an infectious disease from the entrance of the pathogen to the appearance of clinical symptoms. See also incubation period, under period. 4. the development of microorganisms or other cells in an appropriate medium under controlled environmental conditions, especially of temperature, to permit optimum growth. 5. the process of maintaining reaction mixtures at a given temperature for specified time periods for the development of chemical or enzymatic reactions.
Medical dictionary. 2011.